Got the Keto Flu? Know the Symptoms and How to Avoid it
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The keto flu is legit!
Not everyone will experience it (some manage to avoid it), and for some, the symptoms can be worse than for others. The keto flu a.k.a. the “carb flu” is your body’s natural response to a sudden shift in fuel source caused by carbohydrate restriction. Think of it similar to a “withdrawal” type of response as the body switches from a sugar-burning state to a fat-burning state.
But don’t give up! The keto flu is short-lived and when you push through with a little help from us, you’ll enjoy the energizing, fat-burning rewards that await you!
Typically, the keto flu lasts for about a week and symptoms usually will kick in the first 1-3 days of restricting carbohydrates.
Common symptoms associated with the keto flu are:
- Low energy
- Sugar cravings
- Stomach pains
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Poor focus and concentration
- Brain fog
- Muscle soreness
What can you do? Here’s a list of keto flu remedies to help get you through:
1. Drink more water — try adding a pinch of salt
2. Enjoy electrolyte enhanced drinks — drink the following:
• 365 Electrolyte Enhanced Water, available at Whole Foods
• Electrolyte Enhanced Water, available at Trader Joe’s
• Smart Water
• Propel or Powerade Zero (if these fit into your diet plan)
• Zero calorie flavored waters can be used but often lack electrolytes. Just add 1/8-1/4 tsp Morton Lite Salt Mixture to 16-20 ounces.
• Chicken or beef broth, both work great for sodium. Use 1 bouillon cube per 8-ounce water.
3. Eat more fat to kick cravings to the curb and to help your body become fat-adapted — fat bombs work great!
4. Do some low-intensity exercise — go for a walk or a relaxing bike ride
5. Relieve stress — deep breaths, meditation, yoga, reading
6. Make sleep a priority — go to bed a little earlier to get a good night’s rest
7. Consume electrolyte-rich foods — some examples are listed below
- Potassium: Avocados, nuts, salmon, mushrooms, green leafy vegetables
- Magnesium: Nuts, dark chocolate, artichokes, fish, spinach
- Sodium: Salt, broth, bacon, pickles, fermented vegetables
- Calcium: Almonds, sardines, cheeses, dark leafy greens
- Phosphorus: Nuts, seeds, dark chocolate, meats, fish, cheeses
- Chloride: Olives, seaweed, salt, low carb veggies
Remember, if you get the keto-flu, it’s short-lived and can be avoided by following the tips above. Hang on and keto on!
Want to learn more about keto? Check out this article.
Tara Finnerty RDN, CSP, CD—is a ketogenic specialist and fat-fueled enthusiast. Tara is a registered dietitian in Utah and owner of Sugar House Nutrition LLC. Her aim is to provide nutrition support for people wanting to reap the many health benefits of the ketogenic (keto) diet. Her expertise in the keto diet was initially working with children who have uncontrolled epilepsy. Tara supports nutrition diversity and works toward helping people find an individualized approach to make healthy eating sustainable.